Erfurt is the capital of the German state of Thuringia (Thüringen) and has about 200,000 inhabitants. It was an important trading town during the Middle Ages, and has many beautiful old buildings and parks.
Erfurt lies on the intersection of two motorways (Autobahnen): A4 and A71.
Distances on the motorways to some cities: Berlin 300 km, Leipzig 150 km, Dresden 215 km, Kassel 150 - 200 km depending on route, Frankfurt 260 km, Munich (München) 400 km, Hanover 220 km
Erfurt Hauptbahnhof (main train station) is a regional hub. As of March 2014, ICE and IC trains alternate hourly on their route between Leipzig and Frankfurt am Main; some long distance trains ply longer routes. Regional and local trains on multiple routes supplement travel options from / to other destinations.
As the rail lines in Eastern and Central Germany are currently being upgraded and Erfurt is due to become a major hub, expect better connections starting December 2017.
Erfurt-Weimar airport is located about 4 miles west of the city center. As of March 2014 operations are modest and mainly cater for (outgoing) holiday makers; one notable exception is a connection to London Gatwick twice a week.
Tram line number 4 offers a convenient connection to the city center and the main station in about 25 minutes (at a 20 minute interval).
The city centre is quite compact so walking is often the best way to explore the city. Regular tram services cover much of the city; they are supplemented by buses. On most sections trams have service intervals of at least every 10 minutes during daytime, becoming less frequent in the evenings. Night buses are available throughout the night after midnight; these run once or twice every hour and meet at the very heart of the city centre (Anger) or depart from the main station (within walking distance from Anger).
Info about public transport (in German language)
Much of Erfurt's charm is found in its narrow streets, many of which are pedestrianized, with their beautiful old houses, green areas and little bridges across the Gera river and the Stadtpark and the Nordpark on different sides of the city center.
In the tourist office you can buy a small guidebook in one of several languages that leads you through the city along the main sights.
- Dom (Cathedral), Domstufen 1.
- Severi Kirche (Church), Domplatz.
- Krämerbrücke. Bridge with medieval houses, the most important landmark in Erfurt
- Fischmarkt. with its Burgerhouses and town hall.
- Augustinerkloster, Augustinerstraße 10. monastery where Martin Luther lived, the main gate of the old university (third oldest German university, shut down in the 19th century and reopened in 1992)
- Anger. main square, full of stores with the old Post Office building.
- Petersberg Citadel. a historical defence system and a great lookout over the city
- Old Synagogue, Waagegasse 8. Oldest surviving European Synagogue, today a museum that has an impressive collection of 14th century Jewish jewellery.
- Egapark. a huge and beautiful botanical garden and accessible by the Straßenbahn. Garden lovers can find many things to do and see. Check out for any exhibitions or programmes.
- Erfurt Theater. Watch an opera or play
- Relax at the Wenigemarkt or behind the Krämerbrücke beside the river and have a beautiful look at the old houses standing on the 'bridge'.
- Take a walk around the Stadtpark just near the main station and see the green side of the city.
- Join a historical city tour organised by the Tourist Information located at the Fischmarkt to have better and entertaining insight into the long lasting history of the town.
Shops on the Krämerbrücke offer unique crafts and souvenirs. Around the city centre, along the street Anger, Bahnhofstraße and all the way to the Fischmarkt and Domplatz along Schlösserstraße and Marktstraße you can find almost every apparel shop a European heart desires, from H&M over Mango to Zara, Esprit, C&A and many, many more!
There are also a few shopping malls and other shopping opportunities spread over the whole city:
- Anger 1, Anger 1 (directly in the city center Anger). Mon-Sat 10am-8pm. Shopping mall directly in the city centre. Offers the opportunity to shop for apparel, electronics, groceries and more on four floors.
- Thüringenpark, Nordhäuser Straße 73 t (tram 1 and 3 direction Europaplatz). Mon-Sat 10am-8pm. Shopping centre approx. 20 min outside the city centre. Shop for apparel, groceries, electronics and more. Post office, drug store and "Sparkasse" (a German bank)also inside. Special events happen around holidays or around special themes (e.g. fashion, sport etc.)
- TEC (Thüringer Einkaufszentrum), Hermsdorfer Str. 4 (Bus 51, 59 or 155 from main station, direction Niedernissa). Shopping mall 10 minutes outside the city centre. Shop here for groceries or electronics. Only a few apparel shops are here. The several shops open at different times, have a look at the website for details!
Be aware: most shops (besides most grocery stores) are only open until 8pm. Sundays all shops and stores are closed! (Exemption: a few Sundays each year are open for sale)
The Thuringer Bratwurst (famous grilled sausage) comes from Erfurt, and the city has numerous stalls selling this world-famous delicacy. Don't miss out to try one or more to sample on the differences!!!
- San Remo, Marktstrasse 21. Supposedly an excellent ice cream shop.
- FAM (Feines am Markt), Am Fischmarkt 19 (left side of the town hall, Fischmarkt). Nice location with the option to sit outside and watch passing by people, good breakfast and food in general. Closed on Mondays!
- Übersee, Kürschnergasse 8 (near Wenigemarkt). Nice cafe and bar with the opportunity to sit outside and have a nice look at the Gera river. Every day they offer a different special - check out the website!
- Hemmingway, Michaelisstraße 45.
Erfurt has numerous small bars in the city center. When looking for a nice bar to have a drink or two don't miss taking a look at the Michaelisstraße near Fischmarkt where you can find numerous bars that offer a variety of drinks and snacks. Of course most of the cafes and restaurants mentioned in the "eat and drink" section also offer alcoholic beverages and are open until late.
If you intend to go clubbing or dancing, Erfurt can also offer some clubs, most of them are open on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
- Musikpark, Willi-Brandt-Platz 1 (opposite of the main station). Black, House and Rock music. Every Thursday: Ladies World with free entrance until midnight and all you can drink for €6. Every Friday: Night of the Stars with special drinks. Saturdays: varying themes.
- Club 1, Steigerstraße 18 (tram 5 direction Steigerstraße). Black and House music. Wednesday, Friday and Saturday varying events and DJs.
- Engelsburg (E-Burg), Allerheiligenstraße 20/21 (between Fischmarkt and Domplatz). Varying program and events, regular: Fightclub (different music styles). More alternative and rock music.
- Club Centrum, Anger 7 (city centre). Minimal music, drum&bass, electronic, house, black. Varying events on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
- Presseklub, Dalbergsweg 1 (near the city centre). Cocktail lounges, salsa parties and 70s/80s/pop events on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.
- Cosmopolar - unique music lounge, Anger 66 (right at the Anger (central square), in the big Old Post building). pop, electronic, house, black. Varying events on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
For budget travelers Erfurt offers a few hostels and low budget hotels or pensions.
- re4 Hostel, Puschkinstr. 21 (near the main station). 13-20 Euros.
- Opera Hostel, Walkmühlstraße 13 (near main station and old opera house). €13-45.
- By train, Weimar is only a quarter of an hour away.
- Jena is just half an hour by train.
- Leipzig is about 2 hours away.
- Wander around on near-by Thuringen Forest, on which Thuringia called the "green heart of Germany".
- Halle about 45 minutes away and has some great things to see. The largest city in Saxony-Anhalt is the birthplace of Handel and has a few castles.